Ringing in 2022 with the Future 50 class of 2022

Katy Smith
Columbus CEO
Future 50 class of 2022 members, from top left, Ukeme Awakessien Jeter, Rick Ricart, Sarah Townes, Ian Labitue, Jim Bruner (left, second row), Toni Bell, Dean Tran and Spencer Jordan.

We’re proud to celebrate the 2022 class of Columbus CEO’s Future 50 with this special publication.

This outstanding group of people has the determination, the vision and the heart to help usher the region into a brighter future. This annual endeavor, which we bring to you for the third time this year, calls together the region’s most innovative thinkers and doers to offer their leadership as we confront issues like the wealth gap, racism, education and how the arts can bring us closer together.

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This month’s issue is dedicated to the 2022 class of Future 50, with their profiles and their ideas for how to make Columbus better. Many thanks to sponsor CoverMyMeds for its support, and to the Columbus Athletic Club for sharing its space for a photo shoot with this year’s honorees.

How do we choose the Future 50?

Future 50 members are identified by the previous class (2 votes) and Columbus CEO editorial staff (1 vote) based on their achievements, generosity of spirit (and deed) and ideas for creating lasting social impact.

Future 50 class of 2021:See who made the list

Future 50 Annual Projects

Each year the Future 50 works together to complete projects of their choosing. Projects should be specific and achievable within one year. The idea is that the project creates meaningful, quantifiable change in the Columbus region. The project embodies the Future 50 core values—achievement, altruism, boldness, creativity and inclusivity.

The 2021 class of Future 50 has been working since February on projects that help people in the community. The first project involved a group offering sessions on leadership to children who participated in the Greater Columbus Sports Commission’s camp week at Berliner Park in June.

A second Future 50 group has a vision to bring fresh food to people who need it via the creation of unstaffed community refrigerators that can be accessed 24/7.

And a third group is working on making the internet accessible to more residents of Columbus who need it.

I’m so much looking forward to the projects this year’s group will come up with.

Here is the Future 50 class of 2022

Abdul Akel, CEO and co-founder, T-cetra

Alex Ditty, Head of Content & Marketing, Ohio State University Alumni Association

Alida Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Pelotonia

Almar Walter, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion & Chief Diversity Officer, Columbus State Community College

Amanda Turner, Executive Director, Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation/Tobacco 21

Amit Chandna, President & CEO, HLG

Amy Gordon, Executive Director & CEO, Communities In Schools of Ohio

Andrea Devier, Associate Vice President of Grants and Data Management, LifeCare Alliance

Andrew Mills, Assistant Head of School & Head of High School, Harvest Preparatory School

Ariana Ulloa-Olavarrieta, Executive Coach - LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network, Ohio University

Aslyne Rodriguez, Director of Government Affairs, Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

Ben Kelley, partner at Kelley Cos., owner of Emmett's Cafe

Betsy Bankhurst, President, Basement Doctor

Brad Kaplan, Founder, CEO, Dough Curator & Driver, Lion Cub’s Cookies

Brian Higgins, principal, Arch City Development

Brian Pierson, Vice President of Community Health and Well-being, Mount Carmel Health System

Charles Hill, Vice President, Programs and Operations, Columbus Urban League

Chevonne Harris, Founder & CEO, Brand Strategist, ThriveIN

Chris Suel, Assistant Director of Community Affairs, Office of the Mayor, City of Columbus

Dean Tran, CEO, Cultivate Geospatial Solutions

Devin Schaffer, VP (Legal) - Corporate/M&A/Securities, Cardinal Health

Ian Labitue, director of business development and strategy, Kaufman Development

Imran Nuri, Founder & CEO, 52 Million Project

Janet Chen, CEO, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

Jennifer Sanders, Portfolio Manager, Midwest Regional Office, AmeriCorps

Jim Bruner, Sultan of Systems/Alpha Farmer, Mezzacello Urban Farm, PAST Foundation, Ohio Invention Convention

Karen Hewitt, Associate Director, Leadership Columbus

Kashif Smiley, Director, head of tech recruiting, Capital One

Keryna Johnson, Project Coordinator for Convergence Columbus, Mortgage Bankers Association

Kevin Grabeman, shareholder/consultant, McGohan Brabender

Latisha Chastang, Deputy Chief, Community Services, Ohio Department of Development

Marty McDonald, Executive Vice President, Fahlgren Mortine

Melissa Starr, Chief Program Officer, Jewish Family Services

Michael Swepston, president, Atlas Butler

Mike Hochron, Social Program Administrator, Franklin County CSEA

Neethi Johnson, VP, Digital Strategy, JPMorgan Chase

Nikki Stead, Vice President, People Services, Donatos

Noelle Arnold, Senior Associate Dean, Ohio State University College of Education and Human Ecology

Paula O'Reilly, Office Managing Director/Financial Services Lead Midwest, Accenture

Rachel Bloomekatz, Principal & Founder, Bloomekatz Law

Rick Ricart, President, Ricart Automotive

Sangeeta Lakhani, Executive Director, Service! A Relief Effort for Hospitality Industry Workers

Sara McKinniss, Marketing Director, FST Logistics

Sarah Townes, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer, Experience Columbus

Sarai Exil, co-founder and president, Student Success Stores, and manager of inclusion and diversity at Dick’s Sporting Goods

Shyam Rajadhyaksha, Principal, Xcellium

Spencer Jordan, Vice President of Leasing, Steiner + Associates

Toni Bell, President/CEO, Phoenix Consulting 

Trent Smith, Executive Director, Franklinton Board of Trade

Ukeme Awakessien Jeter, Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister